One tank trip: Wildcats on the loose at Lawrence Prairie Park Nature Center

(Logo by Kaylie McLaughlin | Collegian Media Group)

If you only had a tank of gas to go to the destination of your choice, where would you go?

While stepping foot onto Jayhawk territory may not sound appealing to a Wildcat, Lawrence has some awesome things to do that comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

One option is the Prairie Park Nature Center.Located about an hour and a half away from Manhattan, it offers enough excitement to fill a day.

The nature park opened in 1999 and showcases Kansas wildlife, an education building, nature trails and a five-acre lake for fishing.

You can walk around the 100 acres of wildlife and make your way into the education building full of habitat dioramas, displays and some live animals.

Mary’s Lake is perfect for fishing because the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism stocks it in the spring and summer. There are some limitations, but they can be found on the park’s website.

The Prairie Park Nature Center hosts events and has programs for a variety of groups. Some upcoming events include a viewing of the Geminid meteor shower and a Winter Solstice celebration, both in December.

One of the adult programs is a nature acrylic painting class, so if wildlife tours and walks are not for you, this might be down your alley.

The dog-friendly park also offers archery classes, hiking, birdwatching classes and fishing classes.

The best part about the nature center is that it’s free for all visitors.

If you are not ready to leave Lawrence after a day of walking through the park, you are only about a 10-minute drive from outdoor shopping and restaurants. Massachusetts Street features several stores and places to eat.

The park’s website does not mention any specific COVID-19 guidelines but because it is outside, it is still safe as long as you maintain social distancing guidelines and wear a mask.

The restaurants and shops have their own policies including physical distancing, wearing a mask and limiting the number of people allowed inside at once.

Next time you are looking for something to do with only a tank of gas, this park is definitely worth looking into.

Hey! I’m Maddie Daniel and I am a junior in mass communications. This semester, I'm the assistant culture editor and have previously served as a staff writer. After I graduate, I plan to go to law school to pursue a career in Federal Indian Law. I love art, history and anything outdoors.